A Cross-sectional Triangulation Analysis of the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Patients from the Endocrinology Clinic of the Philippine General Hospital on the Use of Herbal Dietary Supplements

Scott Riley K. Ong, Jana Deborah B. Mier, Bryan Vincent Q. Mesina,
Karen Anjela M. Montevirgen, Maria Isabel P. Nabor, Lovely Angelica A. Nagpala,
Ana Louise M. Naidas, Marianne Joy N. Naria, Zane Oliver M. Nelson III, Ericka Joan R. Nera, Maetrix O. Ocon, Janna Elyza P. Olivera, Kimberly Mae C. Ong, Patricia C. Orduña, Abigail Z. Ortal, Alexandra P. Pacheco, Ronnellee G. Paclibar, Sarah May C. Padre,
Hanna Francesca M. Palomar, Susie O. Sio and Ma. Concepcion C. Sison

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. College of Medicine,
University of the Philippines Manila

Objective. This study aimed to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of a selected population of patients on herbal dietary supplements (HDS).

Method. Methodological triangulation was used to generate a conceptual framework on HDS KAP. A survey of 175 patients was performed to measure knowledge and attitudes regarding HDS and SPSS was used for data analysis. Inverviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to further explore the attitudes and practices, and constant comparison method was used for analysis of responses.

Results. Respondents were generally aware of HDS. Majority of survey respondents believed that HDS are different from conventional drugs (52.0%, p<0.05). However, knowledge on the role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regulating HDS and understanding of "No Approved Therapeutic Claims" were poor.

The attitude toward HDS was generally positive. Majority (64.0%, p<0.05) were positive toward their perceived health benefits as claimed for the prevention of diseases, while a smaller percentage (46.9%, p<0.05) believed in their benefit for the treatment of diseases. A favorable attitude regardings HDS safety was observed due to the idea of their being "herbal" and "natural".

Among the survey respondents, only 22% were HDS users. Family was shown to promote use while cost deterred their use.

Conclusion. Individual knowledge and attitudes on HDS exert significant influence toward HDS practices. Factors that promote use are poor knowledge and positive attitudes toward HDS. Good knowledge seems to lead to judicious use or non-use.

Key Words: herbal dietary supplement, dietary supplement, food supplement, health supplement, nutritional supplement, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, government regulation